Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Friday, July 24, 2020, convicted and sentenced two oil bunkerers, Christopher Okosun and Aboyowa Esuku to one-year imprisonment, for illegal dealing in petroleum product.
The convicts, Okosun and Esuku were arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products.
One of the counts read: “that you, Christopher Okosun and Aboyowa Esuku on the 9th day of January 2020 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired among yourselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in 120 Metric Tonnes of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) without a proper license and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act. Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 1(7) of the same Act.
They pleaded guilty to the charges.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, I.A Mohammed reviewed the facts before the court saying that the convicts were arrested by officials of the Nigerian Navy Service, NNS and handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution.
Mohammed further told the court that upon their handover to the commission, operatives of the EFCC began investigations and it was revealed that the convicts were in possession of a vessel containing 120 Metric Tonnes of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) within the Nigerian Territorial water.
Furthermore, letters written to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) showed that the convicts did not have the license to deal in petroleum products.
To further prove his case, Mohammed tendered voluntary statements made by the convicts wherein they confessed to the crime, as well as letters were written to and received from the DPR.
He, therefore, urged the court to convict them accordingly, adding that the product found aboard the vessel was sourced through oil bunkering.
The judge also ordered that upon their release from custody, they shall enter into a bond with the EFCC to be of good behaviour and never to be involved in any economic and financial crime, illegitimate or criminal activities within and outside the Federal Republic of Nigeria.